When it comes to introducing any animal to any new animal, the key is to go slow. When it comes to rabbits, because they are prey animals by nature, they may be a bit slower at becoming comfortable with new mates of any species. After the new rabbit has been brought home and the initial quarantine is complete, to ensure there are no underlying health problems which could be passed on to your other pets, then place the new bunny’s cage in the area where he can smell and see the other pets, but where they cannot get to him. This will allow him to become familiar with their smell, as well as to watch their actions. Remember, it is important to note that rabbits get stressed out very quickly and very easily. So reducing as much stress as possible is vital to their health. After 1 – 2 days of this type of interaction, you can move the bunny, in his cage, closer to the subject that he is being introduced to, gradually increasing the closeness with the rabbit and the other pet until they are separated only by the cage wire. At this point, both pets will be able to get an up-close smell of each other, without being able to physically get at each other. Supervising this activity is very important, as you want both pets to feel safe. After this has continued and both are showing obvious signs of being comfortable with this proximity for a day or two, then take the bunny out of his cage. Hold him securely, and if possible, have another person there to handle the other pet. Allow them to touch each other.
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What to do if you experience aggression?
If either shows any signs of aggression, immediately pull that one back, away from the other, and firmly say “no!” Never strike or hit the either of the pets, as this only adds to the aggression. Be patient, even though it may or it may not take a while, but continue doing this until they once again are showing signs of being comfortable with the other’s presence and touch. Keep these visits very short at first, and then gradually increase their time together. Going slow and being consistent will earn you the result you desire. Soon they will learn that everything is ok, and you can release the bunny and the other pet into a small area. This will likely cause a new level of excitement for both pets; so once again, remember that close supervision is a dire must! But in due time, they will learn to trust each other and as they do, they will comfort levels will increase and bonding will take place.
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